Patrick Hawkins  


Executive Summary

Patrick Hawkins is a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, and National Practice Group Leader for the Firm's Health Law Group. He defends hospitals, other healthcare organizations and their employees in medical malpractice litigation as counsel to the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC). He appears regularly before administrative tribunals, including the Consent and Capacity Board, and in regulatory proceedings under the Public Hospitals Act and Regulated Health Professions Act. Patrick has served as counsel to hospitals and their employees at numerous Coroner's Inquests.

Patrick acts as general counsel and provides situational advice to healthcare clients on a wide range of issues, including physician credentialing, privacy, freedom of information, consent to treatment, mental health issues, quality of care reviews, adverse event management and disclosure.

Prior to his call to the Bar, he articled as a justices' law clerk at the Ontario Court of Appeal. He is a frequent author and speaker on health law issues with a number of organizations, including the Ontario Hospital Association, Law Society of Upper Canada, Ontario Bar Association, and numerous public hospitals and healthcare organizations.

Representative Work

  • Defends hospitals and healthcare providers in malpractice litigation, including obstetrical negligence, neurological injuries, breach of privacy and occupier's liability.
  • Advises hospital senior management and boards of directors on healthcare legal issues, including incident and crisis management, physician relationships and patient disclosure.
  • Represents Chiefs of Staff and Medical Advisory Committees in physician credentialing proceedings before Hospital Boards of Directors and the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.
  • Serves as counsel to the Ontario Hospital Association, assisting on new legislation and policy initiatives.
  • Represents health professionals in complaints before the regulated health colleges.

Publications & Presentations


  • Co-Editor, Canadian Health Law Practice Manual, LexisNexis Canada.
  • Co-Author, "Alternative Therapies," Canadian Health Law Practice Manual, LexisNexis Canada.
  • Co-Author, Quality of Care Information Protection Act Toolkits, Ontario Hospital Association.
  • Author, "The Board's Role in the Credentialing Process," Guide to Good Governance, Ontario Hospital Association.
  • Co-Author, Physician Leader Resource Manual, Ontario Hospital Association.


  • Guest Instructor, “Informed Consent”, University of Toronto “Ethics and Professionalism: Medical/Legal Seminars”, January 18, 2016.
  • Speaker, “Governance and QCIPA Recommendations”, Ontario Hospital Association and Canadian Patient Safety Institute Conference, November 1, 2015.
  • Speaker, “Privacy Class Actions in Canada: Unique Considerations in the Health Care Sector”, Ontario Bar Association Conference, October 19, 2015.
  • Speaker and Panellist, “Perspectives on Disruptive Physician Behaviour”, Canadian Medical Protective Agency and Ontario Hospital Association Conference, September 30, 2015.
  • Speaker, “Role of the Board of Directors in Overseeing Cyber Risk Management – Practical and Legal Implications”, Ontario Hospital Health Care Governance Forum, September 9, 2015.
  • Speaker, “Privacy Breach Class Actions: Trends and New Cases”, joint BLG, Deloitte and Aon Reed Stenhouse seminar “Cyber Risk Survival for Executives”, June 22, 2015.
  • Speaker, “Media Relations: A Lawyer’s Perspective”, BLG seminar for Hospital General Counsel, May 4, 2015.
  • Speaker, “The 5 W’s of Access and Disclosure”, Ontario Hospital Association conference on Health Care Privacy and Compliance, April 22, 2015.
  • Speaker, “Privacy Update”, The Scarborough Hospital, February 12, 2015.
  • Speaker, “Chiefs of Department – Role and Legal Obligations”, Peterborough Regional Health Centre, September 22, 2014.
  • Speaker, “Consent to Treatment: How the Law Works”, Guelph General Hospital, September 25, 2014.
  • Speaker, “Recent Developments in Health and Privacy Law”, Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario annual conference, May 29, 2014.
  • Guest Lecturer, “FIPPA — What is it and how does it apply to hospitals”, Osgoode Hall Health Law Certificate course, May 5, 2014.
  • Speaker, “The Credentialing Process”, Collingwood General & Marine Hospital, Medical Staff Association, February 19, 2014.
  • Speaker, “When the Police Come Knocking”, Southlake Regional Health Centre, January 10, 2014.
  • Speaker, “Patient Safety Grand Rounds: Disclosure of Adverse Events”, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, October 30, 2013.
  • Guest Lecturer, “Quality Assurance and Privilege”, Osgoode Hall Health Law LL.M. program, October 23, 2013.
  • Speaker, “Understanding Hospital-Physician Relationships”, Ontario Hospital Association, May 27, 2013.
  • Webcast, “FIPPA — What have We Learned”, Ontario Hospital Association, May 23, 2013.
  • Speaker, “The Quality and Patient Safety Agenda”, Grand River and St. Mary’s Hospitals, November 20, 2012.
  • Speaker, "Cyber Risk and Privacy," Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada, Risk Management Conference, April 2012.
  • Speaker, "Consent in Other Contexts: End of Life Decision Making, Human Reproduction and Clinical Trials", Osgoode Professional Development, Health Law Certificate course, April 2012.
  • Speaker, "Medical Advisory Committee Role in Credentialing," Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital, Medical Advisory Committee Retreat, March 2012.
  • Speaker, "Freedom of Information and Quality of Care Records", Ontario Hospital Association, Health Care Leadership Summit, September 2011.
  • Speaker, "FIPPA — Key Issues and Concepts for Hospitals", Ontario Hospital Association "Freedom of Information" Conference, January 2011.
  • Speaker, "Critical Incident Disclosure", Ontario Hospital Association "Critical Incident Reporting" Conference, September 2011.
  • Speaker, "Excellent Care for All Act and Other Recent Changes", Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital, November 2010 and NE LHIN Hospitals Board Retreat, September 2010.
  • Speaker, "Workplace Violence", Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences "Mental Health Thought Leadership Forum", September 2010.
  • Chair, "Accountability and Privacy" Conference, Ontario Hospital Association, April 2010.
  • Speaker, "Data Sharing Agreements", Insight Information "Health Information, Privacy and Security" Conference, January 2010.
  • Speaker, "Disclosure of Error", Ontario Hospital Association Ethics Conference, January 2010.

Rankings & Recognitions

Client Testimonials

  • “I have interacted with other lawyers during my career. I would rank BLG and specifically, Patrick Hawkins, above any I have encountered. Thus, I have no hesitation in recommending Patrick and his team at BLG to any other institution requiring excellent and timely legal advice.”
    — Chief of Staff, Ontario hospital
  • “I have worked and continue to work closely with Patrick Hawkins. He has always been accessible to me, especially when urgent issues arise and they provide immediate and ongoing support in order to manage what are often difficult situations. (His) work requires meeting with staff from the front lines to the most senior level of the hospital and (he) communicates and interpret s the legal issues in a way that ensures confidence. I would say that (his) communication both face to face and in writing is one of (his) key strengths.”
    — Risk Manager and Privacy Officer, Ontario hospital
  • “Patrick knows our hospital and staff very well. He has become a trusted advisor to many of us whom have been faced with difficult situations. Any request sent to Patrick or his staff, is promptly responded to with clarifying questions and a timeline for a response.”
    — Chief of Staff, Ontario hospital